The COVID-19 crisis forced universities and colleges to move classes and communication online. But as lockdowns ease across the world, many institutions will continue to provide virtual learning or a hybrid approach, and technology is key to this digital transformation of education.

One thing that has become evident during the COVID-19 pandemic is that teaching can be flexible and adaptable. Universities and colleges have shown that they can deliver education remotely and digitally. They’ve had to. But many will continue to provide at least some of their courses virtually after the peak of the pandemic – and not just to keep students and teachers safe.

For example, sessions that requires little personalisation or human interaction have been recorded as multi-media presentations and watched by students at their own pace and place for years, but this may now become the norm for the majority of courses. Students can then spend time on campus for electives, group assignments, practical lessons, tutorials and career guidance – anything that can’t be done remotely.

Creating a connected campus

Technology is fundamental to this transition to allow IT leaders to manage campus premises, multiple buildings and student residences effectively. Reliable network access is essential to deliver a seamless learning experience, whether remote or on-premise. Security of both individuals and devices used to access the school’s resources is needed to protect college and student information, as well as offering data encryption and logging capabilities to satisfy education-specific compliance.

In response, we have created a dedicated Higher Education Kit of integrated Cisco solutions as part of our Stay Connected, Stay Productive campaign. The kit includes robust, flexible network switching solutions to power campus environments and connected devices, with built-in, cloud-managed functionality for greater IT efficiency. Simplified, agile and resilient infrastructure optimises network performance and streamlines processes. Advanced Wi-Fi connectivity meets and exceeds the needs of students and staff, and connects all users and devices. Leading-edge security protects the network from IoT to BYOD.

Flexible financing for flexible learning

As colleges and universities continue to re-think their learning experience, flexible payment options can help them transition to a hybrid model by investing in Cisco’s solutions. Cisco Capital financing can help them access all the hardware, software and services they need, while preserving cash and existing credit lines. Customers can take advantage of as low as 0% interest rates and no upfront costs, while you get paid up front (country variations may apply).

The future of IT in higher education

The pivot to remote working and learning has highlighted the importance of technology in times of change. Enriched and engaging learning experiences enable the digital transformation of education and improve learning outcomes.

Our end-to-end, cloud-driven networking, collaboration and security kits deliver the flexible, agile, scalable and intelligent solutions universities need to meet the unique and complex needs of higher education.

Find out more about our Education Kits

Find out more about Cisco payment options

Part of the SCSP blog series